Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022

FOR ALMOST TWO YEARS NOW there's been tremendous interest in students in a generic sense. Whether students should be learning in person or remotely. Whether students should be masked or not. Things like that. Individual stories get far less attention and so today we're pleased to shine a light on two high achievers whose prowess is earning acclaim both inside and beyond the walls of Manchester High. We also have other school and town news, our calendar and this reminder: If you enjoy OneManchester you can subscribe by clicking here.

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MHS seniors Nickolas Gastello and Alexandra Hamza will be representing MHS on bigger stages this spring.

Nickolas has been selected to be part of the National Standards for Music Education (NAfME) 2021 All-National Honor Mixed Choir and will perform online at the 37th NAfME Music In Our Schools Month® in March with students from 48 states and territories.

Alexandra has been accepted to be an oral presenter at the 2022 Connecticut Junior Science and Humanities Symposium on March 5. Only 15 students in the state are selected to present and the top four oral presenters will attend the national conference and competition in Arizona.

Budget Deliberations

Monday's Board of Education meeting featured an explanation by Superintendent Matt Geary of costs related to purchased professional services, contracted services and more. Those subjects might sound blah but the categories within are relatable -- everything from transportation to special ed costs to equipment repair. You can see a replay by clicking here.

  • The BoE has another budget workshop tonight and there's a budget adoption meeting scheduled for next Thursday. Click here for a meeting schedule.
  • As context, Geary's recommended 2022-23 budget of $122.4 million represents a 3.95 percent increase over the current $117.8 million budget.
January Family Survey: We want to hear from you! In order to make it easier and faster to provide feedback, we have developed four BRIEF surveys for the school year connected to district improvement planning. The 9-question January survey is linked here and here are the translation instructions: Translate on a computer / Translate on a mobile device
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Around the District

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At left, fifth graders in Mrs. Olesnevich's class at Bennet Academy worked on posters and learned about the woman who their school is named after. At right, Ms. Hussain works with a second grader at Verplanck during independent reading time.

  • MHS debuted a new look for its online student newspaper. Check it out.
  • The TLC Foundation (Diyeso-Lewis Group Home) is seeking new house parents and we have more information here.

What's Next? To Be Determined

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Bradlee's was one of many business in the old Parkade, which was demolished a decade ago after a 20-year decline hastened by the arrival of the Buckland mall in 1990. The fate of the site has been debated for years and the latest plan was for a mixed-use development with apartments, office space, retail, and more. Alas, the town this week severed its ties with the developer and announced it's back to the drawing board.

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The Week Ahead, Etc.

Thursday, Jan. 27

6 p.m. BOE budget workshop at Lincoln Center.

6:30 p.m. -- Intuitive Eating with host Lauren Rosenfeld of ECHN at Whiton Library.

10 - 11 a.m. -- Free Diabetes prevention program at the Senior Center.

Saturday, Jan. 29
9 a.m. - noon -- Polish food sale at St. John’s Polish National Church, 23 Golway St.

1 -5 p.m. -- Last day for COVID-19 vaccine boosters at Bangladesh Bhaban Community Center, 9 Delmont St.

Monday, Jan. 31
9 a.m. - noon -- Five Senses Friendly Mondays at the Lutz, 247 Main St.
7 p.m. -- No Dead Air with author Larry Rifkin at Mary Cheney Library.

7 p.m. -- Charter Revision Commission meeting at Lincoln Center.

Tuesday, Feb. 1
1:30 - 6 p.m. -- COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics at Odyssey Community School.
7 p.m. -- BOD meeting at Lincoln Center.

Wednesday, Feb. 2

6:30 a.m. -- Groundhog Day at the Lutz
6 - 8 p.m. -- Middle School Nights at Mary Cheney Library.


  • The Youth Employment and Learning Program connects 14-to-24 year-old Manchester residents with career exploration opportunities and paid work experience. Interested? Click here.

  • Manchester Little League baseball and softball sign ups run through Feb.14. Click here for more information and here for info on the Challengers program for May and June.

Down the Road:
Feb. 21 is International Mother Language Day -- click here for more information.

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Other Newsletters

  • Manchester Matters: Free at-home COVID-19 test kits and vaccine clinics; taxes must be paid on or before Feb. 1 to avoid interest charges.

  • Manchester Historical Society: Read about a skating carnival at Center Springs Park in 1947; the town’s 200th birthday is less than a year away.

  • Manchester Adult and Continuing Education: is looking for artists and poets for International Mother Language Day; find out how a student from Poland learned to read, write and sing in English.

  • Better Manchester: The latest edition includes the 2022 Winter-Spring programming guide, town updates and feature stories.

OneMan Planner: We use this document to keep track of things coming down the road and you can include yours by contacting Paul Ofria at
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The 34th Buzz Wooldridge Invitational Basketball Tournament opens this afternoon at Illing Middle School with a boys game between RHAM and East Hartford at 3:15 p.m. followed by a girls game between Illing and Windham at 5:15 p.m. Click here for the full tournament schedule.
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School Resource Officer Richard Chief handed out certificates to second grade 'Word Detectives' at Verplanck on Monday, then answered questions about his duties with the police.
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OneManchester is compiled by Jim Farrell of the school district's communications office; he can be reached at or 860-268-6377. OneManchester has been published since August 2017 and features the photography of Paul Ofria. Want to subscribe? Just click here.